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How to start an email marketing campaign

Email marketing remains one of the most essential outbound marketing techniques for any business that understands the impact of the internet on the world. 

It’s one of the most popular methods of direct marketing and uses email as a quick and easy way of sharing messages about your business to your contact database.

Almost half of businesses use an email automation platform. (Emailmonday, 2018), yet professionals use email as the primary means of communication when it comes to business.

The rise of mobile means that business professionals are connected more than ever before, so expect a good mobile experience when reading email on the move. It’s more important than ever to get your email marketing campaigns set up correctly.

This blog post gives advice on how to start a successful email marketing campaign.

What are the advantages to email marketing automation?

There are so many advantages to email marketing over traditional marketing methods, though each should play a part in your marketing strategy as a business. Here are some of the key advantages for your business:

  • Email is the most direct way to reach and target consumers with a personalised and relevant content 
  • Engaging email campaigns naturally increase the number of website visitors
  • Advertisers have a substantial reach to those who have opted in to receive marketing emails and subscribed for more information
  • Almost ¾ of internet users read and send email every day, providing business with a great opportunity to target consumers
  • It’s easy to track ROI (return on investment) in relation to professionally managed email marketing campaigns
  • It’s the second most effective online marketing tool, behind search marketing, making it a popular choice for businesses

The one thing that most businesses have no clue about? How to get started. They don’t know where to begin in the world of email marketing, because email is bigger than social media, and most marketing is now focused on social media (because it’s mostly free and has a huge reach). So, let’s go through the process of setting up a successful email marketing campaign.


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1. Establish clear goals

A successful campaign cannot be measured unless you know what Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to track.

You can sign up for automated campaign tools, but until you decide on what you want out of your email marketing campaign, you’re just firing into the empty air. Think about what you really want to achieve with the campaign and what you hope the outcome will be. Email marketing can translate to more traffic and good conversions, and the only way to ensure that you have clear goals is to align what you want from the campaign to your company KPIs.

For example:

  • Successful deliveries
  • Click-through rate
  • Bounce rate
  • Conversion rate

Once you have set out some basic KPIs you can measure the success of each campaign you send out.

2. Email layout and design

Producing an email campaign that can be viewed correctly on both desktop and mobile, in a range of email clients is notoriously tricky. Trying to code it by hand is time consuming and almost impossible to make cross-platform compliant.

Choose an email marketing platform with a user-friendly design interface that allows for drag-and-drop build experience. You focus on the content and let the system do the heavy lifting in the background. This way you be able to design responsive emails from scratch and easily create the right email templates which will look perfect in all platforms.

You should also look for a system that provides inbox previews to complete final testing before sending out to your list.

Instiller screen capture of drag and drop interface building a responsive email campaign.

3. Segment your email list

Try to avoid sending out a blanket campaign to everyone in the hope that you would hit the right decision maker. Building up a targeted email list can help you to reach your campaign goals, and here are a couple of the ways that you can build that list so that it’s effective:

  • Use contacts that you hope would be engaged with your campaign. You can import your contact list from your collated data into the campaign email and send. However, never – really, never – send any emails out when you haven’t gained permission. Ideally, you would have asked about email campaigns when you signed up your customers. Unsolicited emails are not okay, and will reflect badly on your brand, or even put you in breach of GDPR laws.
  • Begin to build up a new list with new customers – though this is a two-part plan. You first need to collect new customer emails, and once you’ve received these load them up into your system.
  • Adding a call-to-action box on your website asking people to sign up to your subscribers list is visible to anyone who clicks on your site. This then enables people to sign up right away and are more likely to do so, especially if you can demonstrate that you will be providing content that is helpful or valuable in some way.

4. What type of campaign?

Different types of email campaign will require both different types of content, and different template layouts. You could also consider personalisation and automation to build a powerful series of emails that are sent out to your users as part of an on-going campaign strategy.

  • Newsletter: Most consumers are used to receiving these, as they generally announce new products and company news that they could potentially be interested in. This is a good way of keeping in touch with existing customers.
  • Product Offers: Any campaign that you send with the idea of getting a response is necessary. It should be full of lots of calls to action and anything you can add to attract people to click on the offer you have.
  • Announcements: Some companies use email marketing to announce new products and services.
  • Welcome, Confirmations, Reminders: Trigger different automated emails to improve your brand experience. Delight your users so they are happy to come back for more!

5. Creating the campaign

So it’s time to build your first campaign. You’ve selected the platform, have your content ready, your list is up-to-date and you’re ready to press the ‘SEND’ button.

  • Structure the campaign for easy reading that makes sense for your customers. Your consumers will scan an email in less than ten seconds so you have to make it count.
  • Optimise the use of images and videos to make your campaign stand out and boost engagement. Make sure your images are saved in the best format to reduce the file size, and host your videos on a dedicated streaming platform.
  • Personalise your message – readers are more likely to respond when they feel valued. Look for opportunities to tailor your message to meet their unique requirements.
  • Test Test Test. And test again. Ask a colleague to proof-read your text, check any links and make sure you have a rigorous approval process. Once you’ve sent out the email, it’s too late to change.

All email marketing campaigns should be built on trust, and should help brand affinity.

Make your email campaign easy enough to convert prospects into buyers. Always time your campaign strategically, and you can ensure that people are interested in what you have to say.

 

The email marketing solution for agencies

The Instiller marketing platform for agencies provides a robust suite of tools to deliver a powerful campaign right out of the box.

Your clients will be up and running on day one, and will quickly and easily be able to create sophisticated, engaging email campaigns.

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